HC Deb 12 December 1983 vol 50 cc295-7W
Ms. Clare Short

asked the Prime Minister (1) how many persons were employed, whole- or part-time by the immigration service on 1 April 1983 and at what grades; and how many other persons are employed, wholly or mainly, on work connected with immigration in the United Kingdom and abroad;

(2) what is the current cost of (a) the immigration service, (b) the immigration service intelligence unit, (c) the staffing and maintenance of Harmondsworth detention centre, (d) the immigration appeals system, (e) the employment of outside agencies on immigration work and (f) the operation of the entry clearance system in the Indian Sub-continent.

The Prime Minister

The numbers and grades of staff employed in the immigration service on 1 April 1983 were:

Chief Inspector 1
Deputy Chief Inspector 2
Assistant Chief Inspector 9
Inspector 34
Chief Immigration Officer 209
Immigration Officer 1,260
Interpreter 7
Higher Executive Officer 2
Executive Officer 9
Clerical Officer 44
Clerical Assistant 49
Personal Secretary 3
Typist 24
Paperkeeper 2
Messenger 12
Telephonist 1
Cleaner 8

Casual staff are also employed, primarily in the summer months, to assist with the embarkation control.

In addition, 1,076 staff were employed on the same date in the immigration and nationality department, and 171 United Kingdom-based staff were employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at home and overseas on immigration and visa work. This excludes the 260 staff then employed in the nationality division of the Home Office and staff locally engaged by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The immigration appellate authorities consist of the tribunal, the adjudicators and support staff. On 1 July 1983, the latest date for which information is readily available, the tribunal comprised two full-time and 28 part-time members. There are 16 full-time and 58 part-time adjudicators, and 74 full-time and 14 part-time members of staff.

Costs for particular elements of the immigration control for 1983–84 are not held centrally and could not be identified without disproportionate expense. However, the following table shows estimated staff costs, general administrative expenses and receipts for the immigration and nationality department — including the nationality division—and the immigration service in 1983–84.

Home Office staff costs 31,652
General administrative expenses 13,759
Receipts* -7,551
Total (ie net cost) 37,860
* Nationality fees, fees for documents of identity, payments by carriers etc.

These figures are based on the estimated outturn for 1983–84. They do not include computer costs or expenditure incurred by, for example, police forces, the courts and the prison service in connection with the enforcement of the Immigration Act 1971. They do, however, for the first time include accommodation and associated costs amounting to £5.84 million.

The estimated costs of the immigration appellate authorities and of the grant to the United Kingdom immigrants advisory service are:

Immigration appeal tribunals 1,688
United Kingdom immigrants advisory service 764

Equivalent figures for the cost of the entry clearance work in the Indian sub-continent are not available, but I understand that some 50 United Kingdom based and 85 locally engaged staff are currently employed at an estimated annual salary cost of about £768,000.